As someone who’s dedicated her career to helping small-scale entrepreneurs grow their businesses, I’ve heard many skeptics say a business accelerator program is just a cover for startups looking to increase capital. I disagree – after working with thousands of entrepreneurs from around the world who are putting in the hard work and time to reach the US$1 million mark, I see the importance of accelerator programs enabling businesspeople to reach personal and professional goals. From a high-level perspective, these small businesses are making a positive impact on the global economy, creating more jobs and empowering communities. On a personal level, giving entrepreneurs the support and resources to realize their potential is immensely valuable on many levels. For those of you who may be considering a program like EO Accelerator to help you increase your profits and grow your business beyond US$1 million, here are 10 signs you and your company could use a business accelerator program: You’re profitable but have no cash This is normal, but it doesn’t have to be! There are tools and techniques to help you better understand why this is and how to fix it. Who wouldn’t want to remain profitable but have more access to cash at any given time? You wear all of the hats in your business You still find yourself doing all the operations pieces with no time to create or align to a vision. Having the right people in the right seats can hone your operations and output, with the right processes and strategy. You need investment to grow but don’t want to give up ownership It’s your business – why not keep it? Steer clear of any accelerator and incubator programs that invest in their participant businesses but also take ownership. Look for programs like EO Accelerator, who have nominal annual fees but allow you to retain ownership. Groups like this offer a network of seasoned entrepreneurs who have YOUR best interests in mind and give you knowledge to apply as you see fit. You wish someone were there to hold you accountable According to The Leadership Training Workshop, “Committing goals to paper and reviewing them regularly gives you a 95% higher chance of achieving your desired outcomes.” Think about how much more successful you would be if you had a support network to follow up with you on a regular basis? Not to mention having a group to celebrate successes with you. A business accelerator program can provide this and more. You’ve been working at your business for a long time but never hit US$1 million You’ve worked hard to get your business to where it is today. Accelerator programs speed up your growth through tools, goal tracking and accountability to do this so much faster. You don’t have an entrepreneurial peer network for support Being an entrepreneur can feel lonely, but it doesn’t have to be! Founders of fast-growth companies often find that a peer group doubles as a strategy session and therapy. They collect tips and tools to manage professional challenges, but also gain emotional support and resolve to address personal issues. For business owners who dislike consultants, peer groups offer an alternative. Unlike consultants who swoop in and tell a CEO what to do, peers listen and shed light on a situation by drawing upon their own experiences. You don’t know where to start to grow the business You started, were given or bought this business. As is, it’s working – yet, you know it could be so much better. But where to start? An accelerator program gives the opportunity to learn and apply new tools to help you identify what areas of your company need to experience change. You’re looking for tools to help you grow NOW Many business resources will give you great advice for the future – “Once you hit US$1 million in sales, you’ll set up X, Y and Z.” That’s wonderful, but it’s not helpful in the present. Make sure you’re being provided content that meets you where you are, ideas you can today. Don’t settle for planning improvements – make them! You know that what got you HERE won’t get you THERE You’ve obviously done some great things in the past and seen great results; after all, you have a growing business! But times are changing, and many of the processes that worked “then” may not work well now. Advances of technology, a demand for instant connectivity and changes in industries require new techniques and growing solutions. Recognizing this is half the battle. You want structured learning (without paying for an MBA) in the four key areas of business: People, Business Execution, Cash and Strategy Education is one of few things that can’t be taken away from you. As an entrepreneur, you may not have studied anything to do with the business or industry you’re operating in – and that’s okay! Find a program that addresses the four key areas of business: people, business execution, cash and strategy. And don’t overpay – programs like EO Accelerator can provide you hands-on education without the pressures to “do it right” or earn a perfect 4.0 GPA. It’s an investment in yourself and your business.